Initial objection lodged against plans to build 35 homes in Fishbourne

Fishbourne Parish Council has lodged an 'initial objection' to a proposal for 35 homes on land at the western edge of the village.

Thursday, 23rd January 2020, 10:32 am
Updated Thursday, 23rd January 2020, 10:34 am
The applicant said the proposals will help to meet those housing needs in Chichester which is renowned for being relatively unaffordable.Photo: Fishbourne Developments Limited

Plans have been submitted by Fishbourne Developments Limited to construct 35 homes at Bethwines Farm, Blackboy Lane, tailored to first-time buyers (19/03141/FUL). Read more hereAccording to the planning statement, the homes, which are aimed at people ‘whose needs are not met by the market’, would include associated access, parking, for cars and bikes, landscaping and infrastructure.

Fishbourne Parish Council held a meeting on Tuesday evening (January 21), which was attended by around 25 members of the public, ‘concerned by the planning application’.

A spokesperson said: “Fishbourne Parish Council has agreed to lodge an initial objection to a proposal for 35 homes on land at Bethwines Farm on the western edge of the village.

Fishbourne Parish Council held a meeting on Tuesday evening, which was attended by around 25 members of the public, concerned by the planning application

"Chichester’s Local Plan and Fishbourne’s Neighbourhood Plan are currently being revised, so it is too soon to calculate how many affordable homes are needed in the village.

"As the council has previously said, building on Bethwines Farm is not sustainable, would cause unnecessary irreparable damage, and would ignore the strategic value of farmland.

”There is insufficient time to fully consider the application and an extension to the consultation period is needed.”

The applicant said the proposals, which so far have had seven letters of objection on the planning portal, will help to meet those housing needs in Chichester ‘which is renowned for being relatively unaffordable’.

The planning statement read: “The government’s objective is to significantly boost the supply of housing to meet the housing needs of different groups in the community, including those that require affordable housing.”

The applicant said it met Chichester District Council in April and the application has been the subject of an iterative design process ‘as a result of the comments and input provided by the planning authority’.

Geoff Hand, parish council chairman, said it ‘crucial’ that there is enough time to ‘fully consider’ the application.

He added: “We have been opposed to building on Bethwines Farm for many years, and we know that Fishbourne residents are also strongly against developing this farmland.”

“We want all Fishbourne residents to have a chance to express their views on these plans, so we have arranged a public meeting for Friday, January 31 at the Fishbourne Centre at 7pm.”

Doubt over affordability of new homes

After news broke of plans to build 35 new homes at Bethwines Farm, some residents have expressed doubt over how affordable the homes would be for first-time buyers.

More than 100 readers have left comments on our Facebook page, after seeing the plans for eight one-bedroom flats, 12 two-bedroom houses, ten three-bedroom houses and four four-bedroom houses.

Morgan Kingsley-Proctor wrote: “Not affordable for single people and who work full time.

“You need to be earning at least 30k+.”

Marion Hall said it is affordable ‘only for those on high income jobs with no children’, whilst Clarinda Ryder said youngsters ‘still can’t afford these properties’. Gillian Dicken said it is 'only affordable for those in a decent job or for a couple both earning'.

Matthew Chivers wrote: "Yet another plan that assumes house occupants/families will have two cars or less and that no houses will host guests who drive."

Tracy Barr commented: "I have lived in Fishbourne for 25 years. Nothing here is 'affordable'. We need proper council housing for our young people."

However, some readers, including former resident Brenda Whitlock, said the proposal is a ‘great idea’.

John Turbefield agreed. He said: "Excellent news. More housing, the more it will bring down prices and people will be able to actually have places to live."

Jenny Netley wrote: "So many people need a home that is affordable. The houses they are building are lovely so let's hope they keep to their word and make them affordable."

What do you think? Let us know by commenting on our Facebook page.